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Two More Lawmakers with COVID-19 Die in Pakistan as New Cases Spike

Αssociated Press

A family wearing masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus visits a market in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Two Pakistani lawmakers have died after testing positive for the coronavirus amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Officials said Tuesday that Munir Khan Orakzai, a lawmaker in the lower house of parliament, died in northwest Pakistan. They said a minister in the southern Sindh province, Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, died at a hospital in the port city of Karachi.

Their deaths came weeks after the first virus-related death of a lawmaker in Pakistan took place in the eastern city of Lahore.

Pakistan on Tuesday reported 78 deaths in the past 24 hours from the country’s outbreak.

Critics blame Prime Minister Imran Khan for an increase in deaths and infections. THey accuse him of easing restrictions last month at a time when there was a need to enforce a stricter lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

Pakistan has recorded a total of 76,398 confirmed cases and 1,621 deaths since February.